Listen to Message:
The late poet Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, “I sustain myself with the love of family.” I’ve personally experienced the powerful truth of her statement. Throughout many difficult times in life, I owe my endurance to the God-given blessing of my family’s love. I believe that this statement by the acclaimed poet is not only true on the individual level, but also on the societal level, as biblically, the foundation for society is the family. Without the love of family, our society will not be able to sustain itself.
It is within families that God places the ability and responsibility to raise children to love others (Ephesians 6:4). The second great commandment is, “love your neighbor” (Matthew 22:39). And who is a closer neighbor than those in our immediate family? The primary reason that this is important to a society is that without training in love, children will grow to live for themselves — indifferent to the needs, concerns, and well-being of others.
Living for oneself, as opposed to living to do good for others, is what causes our society to break down. If our children do not learn to love, we cannot expect them to give care and support in the future to the vulnerable and powerless who can often give nothing (except for their own love) in return. When Jesus calls us to love our neighbor, he does not give us exceptions of those who are not worthy of love. Without love, poverty, oppression, racial conflict, and greed run rampant. When we teach our children to love others, we lay the societal foundation of knowing the inherent value and dignity of all people.
Love seeks the good of other people (1 Corinthians 13:6). The family is where children are taught what is right and wrong and how to do what is truly good for others. Although the government and other organizations can reinforce what is right, families are to be where this primary instruction takes place in word and in actions. When families do this, crime will not only decrease in a society, but also, the overall society will thrive as care for others in need will increase (Ephesians 5:28).
Love has an outward and future focus to it. The parent, who loves her child, plans for the child’s future. The parent chooses to sacrifice time to teach her child to read, knowing that reading is one of the abilities a child needs for the future. A parent realizes her mortality and her child’s. She will teach about the holy God whom we will all stand in judgment before and the wonderful offer of eternal life given in Christ Jesus.
Likewise, families are needed to model how to live considering the debt left and the credit given in the morals and values that will be handed down to the next generation. Without love, we forget about our future generations, because in our now, they provide no tangible value. (Although, as individuals age and become more dependent upon the next generation for their care, this value is increasingly realized but by then, it’s typically too late.)
God has designed families to undergird society through their love and training children to love others. Our society will not be sustained without the love of families. Let us not forget their important role in our society so future generations can also say, “I sustain myself with the love of family.”
The Rev. Aaron Brockmeier is pastor of Saint Luke’s Church, http://slcfaribault.com, which meets at 10:15 a.m. Sundays at 1100 9th Ave. SW, Faribault. He may be reached at email@example.com or by calling the church at 507-334-6608.
Originally posted at: http://www.southernminn.com/faribault_daily_news/opinion/guest_columns/article_13714d7e-d610-5add-bad5-4064d981897a.html
Saint Luke’s would like to give you and your family a warm invitation to participate in our 2014-2015 Sunday School program. At Saint Luke’s, our Sunday School classes will meet each Sunday starting September 21, 2014 at 9:00AM and end at 10:00AM. Our Worship Service will follow at 10:15AM.
We’re looking forward to a terrific year of fun and learning with our new class schedule as there have been some changes from our structure last year. The first of which is that we will start with our day at 9AM in the Sanctuary for worship, led by Mark and Mary Howells, and then move in to our individual age-appropriate class rooms. Theses rooms shall be divided as such: Laurie Morgan and assistant Laura Hardy will be teaching grades Pre-K through Kindergarten in the lower room across from the nursery; Noelle Brockmeier and assistant Kari Casper will be teaching children in grades 1 through 2; Robin Leavens and assistant, Kelly Koktavy will be teaching grades 3 through 5. You will be directed to these classroom locations on September 21.
We will continue to work with the wonderful educational materials through The Gospel Bible Story series, beginning in the New Testament this session, and are attaching a short schedule to give you parents an idea of what your child(ren) will be learning. We encourage you as family members to initiate discussions based on each week’s teachings.
Grades 6-9 will be taught by Mark Swedberg. Mark will be teaching the students how to open God’s Word and the importance of living one’s faith out. Grades 6-9 will meet in the upper classroom at 9:00AM.
High School students in grades 10-12 are encouraged to attend the Adult Sunday School, led by Randy Hardy at 9:00AM in the Lounge next to the kitchen.
Sunday School affirms the home as the center of biblical guidance. Parents are the most important people in a child’s life, and learning about God starts in the home. Teaching children about God is a seven-day-a-week effort, not something that is done just an hour or two on Sunday morning. We pledge to do our best to support you in your child’s spiritual education, and stand ready to help you at any time.
Some of the things you can do to support the best Sunday School experience for your child are:
Encourage Regular Attendance
Sunday school starts each week at 9:00AM. Please help you and your child to be on time and attend as often as possible. Consistency and continuity are extremely important for your child during these years. To provide the best learning experience, we teach in units of study that build from week to week through the month, and it’s best for the child to be able to experience each week’s lesson, if possible. We carefully prepare each week to begin meaningful teaching from the very beginning of the class, and your child’s arrival on time helps the whole class to get the most out of the session.
We promise to join you in praying for you and your child. We believe that prayer is an effective and powerful force to help protect your child and help them and us to grow in Christlikeness. We would appreciate your prayers for us and the classes, as well.
Throughout the week, we encourage your family to develop the habit of regular devotional times with God, which will help provide a firm foundation for your children. We are offering the daily devotional book Old Story New that will follow the same lessons that are taught on Sundays. Families are encouraged to use the The Gospel Story Bible and the devotional during the week. Both resources will be available to your family at the church. There is no cost for these items but if you are able, we would ask you to donate $20 for The Gospel Story Bible and $15 for the Old Story New devotional.
Bring Bible and Offering
Please encourage your child to bring a Bible and an offering each week. We will actively use the Bible each Sunday in class. The Sunday School offering will support the ministry Children’s Cup and teach our kids how to give because God gave to us.
Please let us know of any special ministry needs, or other special needs you and your family may have. We are excited to learn God’s Word alongside your children and family.
Sunday School Registration forms are available to download here: Sunday School Registration 2014-2015 and also available at the church. Please fill these out and return these to church office ASAP.
Fall Sunday School Schedule
(Subject to Change)
September Scripture Memory — Galatians 3:24-29
September 21: Welcome. Opening Services (meet in Sanctuary) and then proceed to a Waffle Breakfast put on by Christian Education Committee.
Week 1 — “The Birth of Jesus Foretold” Story #79
September 28: Week 2 — “The Birth of Jesus” Story #80
October Scripture Memory – John 3:16-21
October 5: Week 3 – “Jesus Presented in the Temple” Story #81
October 12: Week 4 – “The Ministry of John the Baptist” Story #82
October 19: Week 5 – “The Baptism of Jesus” Story #83
October 26: Week 6 – “The Temptation of Jesus” Story #84
November Scripture Memory – Matthew 5:3-17
November 2: Week 7 – “The Wedding Feast” Story #85
November 9: Week 8 – “Jesus Cleanses the Temple” Story #86
November 16: Week 9 – “Nicodemus” Story #87
November 23: Week 10 – “Good News” Story #88
November 30: Week 11 – “The Miraculous Catch” Story #89
DecemberScripture Memory – Matthew 6:9-15
December 7: Week 12 “Jesus Heals the Paralyzed Man” Story #90
December 14: Christmas Program Rehearsal
December 21: Christmas Program